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Mokaila takes aim at dodgy contractors

Publishing Date : 27 February, 2018


Minister of Transport and Communications Kitso Mokaila this week lambasted contractors, consultants and Roads Department officials for what he termed systematic corruption and incompetence on their part.

At a stakeholders meeting held at Boipuso Hall on Tuesday morning, Mokaila revealed that a bulk of substantial projects his ministry was tasked with delivering often suffer huge cost overruns of up to 50-100%. The minister said Government was concerned with delayed project implementation, sub-standard monitoring and late delivery among other things where projects were concerned.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Kabelo Ebineng said there was no doubt that engineering is considered to be a disciplined industry with many innovations, methods and techniques for delivering infrastructure projects. He however lamented that engineering standards, though known were not being followed.

Ebineng said government had noticed with grave concern how projects were not being completed on time, budget and scope. Ebineng further wondered whether the industry was strategically organised such that there was allowance for oversight when doing business with government. Ebineng presented 32 sampled projects that were carried out in the last 10 years, saying only 21. 8% of them were completed within the budget.

A total of seven (7) projects resulted in savings of P 92, 683. 58. The budget allocated was P 1, 205, 702, 375. 50, and only P 1, 113, 019, 032. 92 of that was spent. A total of twenty- five (25) projects resulted in cost overruns of P 705, 003, 089.63.
The PS said government’s aim is to ensure that there is no bleeding of funds through unjustified processes, poor formulation of ITTs (procurement) and management- whether by ministries or its contracted partners.

He emphasised that all parties must come up with innovative solutions that can significantly improve the operational situations and results. The stakeholders were also advised to work together to ensure that the built infrastructure serves its purpose and that there is a return on investment. He assured stakeholders that there will be an establishment of a Programme Management Office.

To bridge the gap before the establishment of the long term PMO through the assistance of the British government, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is in the process of engaging a consultant for an interim Project Management Office by April 2018. The expression of interest to bidders is intended for international companies only.

This, according to the Ministry will help enhance their capacity to manage projects better by enhancing formulation of tighter ITTs, better stricter supervision, minimizing occurrence of incidence of no- compliance in contract obligations and minimizing notices of intention to claim.

The new development is anticipated to ensure reduced costs overruns, timely completion of projects, better quality product output, management information to aid good decision making and promote equity in job allocation- with the use of end of activity report.



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